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That did it! Thanks.
Indeed, The Killer, this the case for most IEMs, unfortunately.
The DAC as such of the Note 9 is fine (detailed, excellent SNR), the problem is always the same with Samsung high-end phones
that the amp is way too weak,
it can't drive properly most IEMs, producing a shallow, bleak (I mean worse than un-engaging) sound lacking strongly in dynamics,
even for me who listen at very low volume levels.
The IEMs included in the smartphone package can't change that.
In my experience the only IEMs which produce a great sound out of Samsung phones
are the Focal Sphear and the Focal Sphear S (they are almost identical, the S having probably a little flatter FR),
these Focals have such dynamics, drum attacks and efficiency
that for my needs the weakness of the Samsung amp is no issue with them,
they are the only IEMs which I truly enjoy with the Note 9 and the previous Note versions.
For all other stuff, I used to take my AK240 or my SP1000 (ther latter for demanding ones like the LCD-i4 or for some headphones) with me,
but this is cumbersome,
I can't do this every day,
here come the miracle of the tiny ES100: I can always have it with me ! ,
making me feel better not having a LG Vxx smartphone,
the highly wearable ES100 allow to compensate for the amp of Samsung smartphones.
Congratulations, berzerk428, , I hope you will enjoy the Note 9 as much as I do, and especially having so much from your music collection at hand on its huge storage!
got my Note 9 yesterday and today my ES100 arrived.. first impression was very good already, but within expectations since I read a lot of comments on here and knew what to expect.. however something felt slightly off and I had to play around with the settings a bit and I just had a breakthrough testing/comparing with some Rock and Metal where the hair on my neck stood up listening to the intro of Amon Amarath's The Way of Vikings (the moment the vocals set in to be specific). now of course this is due to me being a huge fan of the band but the main reason is that the ES100 was able to make my hair stand up because of the audio resolution and clarity plus all the details regarding treble bass etc., just the whole combination, it just really sounds absolutely clear and clean to my ear, to me it's the almost archetypical kind of comparison between a DAP that's unarguably not that good and delivers questionable audio quality at best and a device that gives you a really high end audio experience, and the ES100 to me is definitively very far on the later side..
the thing that felt off at first was probably that the wrong bluetooth codec was used (aptx instead of LDAC/aptx hd), DAC filters not being set and surprisingly, I noticed that Rocket Player which I first used sounds noticeably worse than USB Audio Player Pro over bluetooth, I'm pretty sure this is not just a placebo.. I know there shouldn't be a technical difference since the dac of the note 9 isnt even involved but I think Rocket Player adds some kind of sound signature or coloration to the music on purpose..
really glad this worked out the way I hoped it would, I now basically have audio quality that is comparable to what my LG V20 offered me, the difference being the music runs from my note 9 with 512+400GB storage and no cable connected to it.. kind of insane to be honest
keep in mind I'm no audiophile with golden ears and I 'only' use AGK N5005 IEM's at the moment, so results may vary, but for me this worked out perfectly from what I can tell right now
Fantastic news, berzerk428 !
BTW, I too love Amon Amarth like you. I see them in my top 5 or 10 of my favorite bands accross all genres, and I too love their track "The Way of Vikings". I especially love above all their track "Burning Anvil of Steel" from their EP "Under the Influence". I listen almost daily to this track "Burning Anvil of Steel" and it belongs to my set of test tracks which I use for auditioning headphones, DAC, etc .
Re. apps for the ES100, as long as the USB-DAC mode is not required, I personnally find aimp (free) to be the most practical and "solid" app for the Bluetooth mode. (The app author has been adapting it according to discussions in a forum, somewhat like wslee).
BTW I agree with some posters that aptX and aptX- HD are inefficient re. compression ratio, so I avoid them and only use either AAC (when I need more Bluetooth range) or LDAC (when the ES100 is to remain in the proximity of my phone) for the ES100.
Enjoy your music with the ES100!
Can anyone recommend a good case for the ES100?
Something that will be both protective and a good fit, I suppose.
[like the SHANLING Leather Case for M0]
I have been experimenting with Aptx-HD/LDAC alot the last week. My initial impression of LDAC was that it sounded better than Aptx-HD. But now im not so sure. When i switch to LDAC it gives me more air and and depth then Aptx-HD. But now im wondering if LDAC adds some room effect to the sound. Maybe it sounds "better" but not as true to the recording as Aptx-HD, im not sure since it's really hard to test. But its very noticable when switching from Aptx-HD to LDAC.
Im running a NAD D3020 @ home but that dac/amp is a tad to the warmer side and i cant say thats a really fair test to compare the sound out of the D3020 to the ES100 since ES100 has a very clean and flat sound.
I'm not sure it would be fair to run the ES100 via USB and compare that to LDAC/Aptx-HD to compare which is more or less true to the recording.
When i use LDAC on my Google Pixel2 phone it gets a little warm, not much but a little. This does not happen when i run Aptx-HD. I cant think that the heat generated by LDAC is due to the higher transfer speeds but rather sound processing on the phone and this is where i think the "room effect" is maybe added to the sound. I know Sony likes their own stuff like DSEE HX. When i read about DSEE HX on: https://blogs.sonymobile.com/2016/0...see-hx-with-audio-engineer-kenichi-matsumoto/ it says and i quote:
You’ll be able to notice the difference most obviously in the areas below:
Expansion and depth of the sound field, or in the size of the performance area (such as in large concert halls compared to studios) – you can feel it with the applause of an audience, afterglow of instruments or atmosphere.
Clarity of the position and separation of each instrument
Vividness or presence of the performance
This makes me think that Sony is running DSEE HX or something similar in LDAC.
Thoughts on this?
I use a pelican 1010 case with my IEMs and Es100. Nice fit and just big enough for both.
I us e the above. Small enough to pocket, big enough to store both my IEMs and the tiny ES100. Peli was too bulky. It's a cheap eBay case like this. I bought mine a couple years back from someone else.
To answer my own question: Yes LDAC does add some room-space-effect to the sound. Im going Aptx-HD since it sounds closer to the original recording than LDAC does.
To test this i hooked my ES100 to my PC and played a song from spotify. I then connected my phone to the ES100 and switched back and forth between the PC and phone. When i switch between PC and phone with Aptx-HD its close to seemless, i really cant tell which is playing. When i do the same with PC and phone with LDAC i get the roomy spacy effects from LDAC. It does sound nice but not correct ACCORDING TO MY EARS.
I'd agree that if you're putting the pelican case in your pocket it's a bit bulky. I carry a laptop bag daily so it's not a problem for me. It's almost a perfect fit with my IEMs and ES100
is that the 1010 or the 1020?
This is the Pelican 1010 case.
I really doubt LDAC is using filters to change the sound. Something else is likely going on, or expectation bias.
Maybe it's just me but I hear the same thing with my HD25 and Ettys er3se. Both are very accurate sounding devices.
I guess anything is possible. I certainly don't hear it with my gear.